The presenter of BBC One’s Film 2012, The Radio 2 Arts Show and Strictly Come Dancing's Sunday night results show is addicted to the bottle: in taxis, after parties, on holiday. The self-confessed tanorexic gives Get the Gloss an exclusive as she spills her top tanning tips to Imogen Edwards-Jones
For how long have you been a tanorexic?
I think it really set in in the Nineties. I’ve always been too lazy to sunbathe – all that sweating and concentrating (hideous) but I discovered Boots fake tan in my twenties and that was it. When orange, I feel better.
Who do you blame? Your mum? Ultra Glow? The Hamilton? The Hoff and the rest of Baywatch?
Blame? Are you mad? Fake tan is amazing. That whole pale is interesting is, quite frankly, not very interesting. But if someone is going to bear the brunt, it's Dynasty. Krystle was never ever ever pale. She was often in sequins and she was often chucked in a pool. But she wasn't pasty.
In the olden days were you an electric sun bed girl?
I went a couple of times but I felt my insides cook. Now, I'm no scientist, but it didn't feel right...
Do you remember your first ever spray?
I remember my first booth. You've seen the episode of Friends when Ross gets sprayed in the eyes three times in a row and ends up the colour of teak? Yup. My experience was worse. I had NEON hands and a very patchy face. Nice.
What extreme lengths have you gone to for a tan?
I once asked a new boyfriend to spray my back. This, apparently, is not very sexy. Whatever. It was a backless dress...
I have heard that you actually go paler when on holiday. What is your record time for making a fake tan last?
The key is quick showers. If you have a spray tan and then spend the next four days soaking in the bath then I CAN'T HELP YOU. A quick, lukewarm shower will sort you out. And the idea of exfoliating after a tan is an actual nonsense. Sellotape the tan on after a couple of days if you must.
Do you a favour a booth? Or do you like yours manually applied?
Manual. I don't trust machines.
Have you ever had a terrible tan moment?
Every time. Wrists, ankles, neck – it's always mottled and odd-looking. People, this is a small price to pay. Tan up and look on the positive side – you're not transparent.
In what situation would you ever think: this would look better if I were pale?
What product do you rate?
Clinique fake tan body cream and LA tanning spray products. But I'll use anything. I've been known to use real mud and Pritt Stick.
Do you have any self-tanning tips?
Do it. Don't be scared. Try not to sleep with your hand touching your face. Don't breast feed after a spray and think it won't matter and never ever ever lie. That whole "I literally popped to Antigua for the weekend" is boring and pathetic. "I BOUGHT MY TAN FROM BOOTS" is much more charming.
Between us, how many bottles of self tan do you think they get through a week on Strictly Come Dancing?
On the scale of latte to mahogany how brown are you now?
I am very pale now. Minus 5. But don't panic. Strictly Come Dancing is back. I'm going full leather for that one.